A Chinese Ghost Story (1987) Sinnui yauwan (HK)

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A Chinese Ghost Story (1987) Sinnui yauwan (HK)

Postby trevor826 » Tue Aug 08, 2006 8:15 am

A Chinese Ghost Story (1987) Sinnui yauwan

Directed by Siu-Tung Ching

Starring Leslie Cheung, Joey Wong, Ma Wu

A romantic, comedy horror, this is traditional Hong Kong cinema at its finest.

A kindly but bumbling tax collector arrives in town only to find his account book has been ruined by heavy rain, since he cant collect anything he seeks somewhere to stay overnight. The (not so) friendly locals direct him to a haunted temple, obviously with the hope that hell be taken care of by the ghosts and demons but things dont play out as they expect.

What can you say, this is a wonderful slice of hokey fun and includes a demon with a tongue that goes on forever, a mad Taoist swordsman, beautiful spirits with long flowing robes that spin and fly with the greatest of ease. Not to mention the dehydrated corpses in the temple itself that come to life at night looking to satisfy their bloodlust, this film has it all and more in abundance.

Leslie Cheung plays Ling Choi Sin the tax collector, a proverbial nice guy (luckily for him). The only reason he survives his encounters with the beautiful spirit, Lit Sin Seen (Joey Wong) is because despite her flirtations, he doesnt try to take advantage of her. Ma Wu is terrific fun as Yin Chek Hsia, a ghost destroying Taoist swordsman, he is trying to ensure that nobody else falls victim to the ghosts and demons, not so easy when a man and a spirit have fallen for each other.

The effects are old school and as such are splendid, from the wire work (which is just as good as you'll see in any recent films) to the stop motion animation which has a charm of its own. I have to mention some of the sound effects which are reminiscent of 80s computer/ arcade games such as Pac-man, these are quite bizarre at first but do not detract from the film.

A Chinese Ghost Story is light, very entertaining and it is without a doubt a great example of Hong Kong cinema and traditional Chinese storytelling and theatre. A popcorn movie that has one simple aim and that is to entertain you, in that essence it certainly succeeds.

Cheers Trev.

BBFC rated 15
R2 dvd released by Hong Kong Legends.

Re: A Chinese Ghost Story (1987) Sinnui yauwan (HK)

Postby hengcs » Wed Aug 09, 2006 2:06 am

I am surprised you watched this film.

It is such a CLASSIC ...

one of the rare few films that make a "ghost/spirit" looks so good (at least in the 80s) ... such that after this film, the actress Joey Wong is always cast as a ghost/spirit ... hiaks hiaks ... and several try to emulate a similar "art direction" ...

anyway, the two songs in the film are also very nice and meaningful ... i recall it winning Best song and Best score ...

overall, to many Chinese who have watched the film, the film touches some chord ... about love and sacrifice ...

Re: A Chinese Ghost Story (1987) Sinnui yauwan (HK)

Postby trevor826 » Wed Aug 09, 2006 5:50 am


I'm surprised that you're surprised that I watched A Chinese Ghost Story.

I 'm glad you're surprised but why are you surprised?

Since I 'm glad you're surprised, why am I surprised that you're surprised?

Will this ridiculously inane form of questioning never end?

I'll be the first to admit that most martial arts films bore me to death but this is far more than that, it is a great piece of traditional Chinese style theatre. I can only think of a few other 80's Hong Kong movies that I'd rank with this and yes I'd agree it is such a CLASSIC ....

Cheers Trev.

Re: A Chinese Ghost Story (1987) Sinnui yauwan (HK)

Postby A » Thu Aug 17, 2006 11:12 pm

This film is actually available for renting at my local videostore. I've heard that it's somewhat of a classic, but hadn't read anything particular about it, yet.
Maybe I'll give it a try now.

Re: A Chinese Ghost Story (1987) Sinnui yauwan (HK)

Postby hengcs » Fri Aug 18, 2006 5:56 am

This film also made the director "Hsui Hark" "famous" ...

Anyway, answering trevor ...
well, it is a very Chinese kind of film ... there is the typical "want to love but cannot love" predicament ... and a relationship between a living mortal and a spirit (which is more common in Asia, rather than the west) ... and there is the "joke/humor" which westerners may/may not appreciate ... and of course there is the slight believe in reincarnation ... and to appreciate the film better, the two songs (i am not sure if they are subtitled) manages to stir the emotions very well becos they are meaningful ... if i have time, i will search and translate the lyrics ... but give me time ... HELP ... etc ...

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